The support of local audio dealerships is a priority for us here at bostonconcertreviews. This is because the high end could not exist without our local dealers guiding us with their expertise and ears; helping us set up our equipment to optimize performance in our listening environments and helping us with equipment repairs, support and upgrades over time. None of this is available when you purchase a product online. The practice of going to a dealer, listening to their products and gaining their insights into what might work best for you and then leaving to shop for the cheapest price online is putting a hurt on everyone: the manufacturers, the distributors, the dealers and the customers. Why the customer? Because dealers of integrity and knowledge in our area provide us with the best tools to understand what are the potentials for our audio systems (at all different ranges of budgets) and how to keep them running at their best. They also provide the greatest gift to us: the pleasure of going to a place where Good Sound is valued. It is clear that due to pricing, internet sales of audio equipment will continue and between audiophiles, it is sometimes a beneficial forum for exchanging or selling used equipment. But what I am suggesting is that the support of the local dealer should be our first priority as audiophiles wanting to support the human (and business) foundations of this love of ours. Great friendships have been forged in audio circles springing from conversations and time spent at local dealers in camaraderie making the goal of Good Sound happen!
One of my most recommended audio dealerships in the Boston area is Goodwin’s High End (“Goodwins”) located at 899 Main Street in Waltham, MA. In their present location since 1995, Goodwins has several excellent listening rooms to allow for the demonstrations of their products. Each of these listening rooms have their own pros and cons as to their acoustic properties, but each is constructed with great technical care to provide a superb environment to hear different systems in a range of budgets.
Once you meet Al Moulton and Paul Chambers, (“System Designers” at Goodwins), you will be in the best of hands. No pressure, just guys who love music and want you to get the most out of your audio systems.
Al Moulton paid a visit to the main listening room here at bostonconcertreviews recently to perform some tweaking of the main room loudspeakers, the Hansen Prince V.2 loudspeaker system. In just a short period of time, Al had performed various computer aided and listening trials and tests in the room (while listening to cuts from some favorite recordings) that led to the moving of the loudspeakers to a new position. This new position resulted in clear improvements in the Hansen’s performance, particularly in the areas of improved layering and depth to the soundstage; increased dynamic energy top to bottom and better imaging. In just a short period of time, Al had the Hansen loudspeakers sounding more open and dynamically propulsive and robust. This visit was a perfect example of how a dealer of knowledge and integrity, like the guys at Goodwins, can assist, (in even the simplest of ways), to the improvement of one’s audio systems to get them sounding their best. The cost of the visit for a few hours was very reasonable, especially in light of the sonic benefits that are reaped every day!
Another example of this kind of excellent service and guidance that Goodwin’s staff provides is my past interactions with Jim Fuller, the turntable specialist at Goodwins. Jim is a superb technician who will take your turntable and make it sound the best it can be. I have taken several turntables to Jim and within a few hours, he has made them all sound superb: proper alignments of cartridges; repair and lubrication of systems; azimuth to perfection! My VPI turntables have never sounded better than after a session with Jim in his turntable lab at Goodwins. Jim will also take the time to explain system setups; how to maintain your turntable and give you suggestions on upgrade paths, without any pressure.
Finally, keep an eye out for events at Goodwins. Check their website at: goodwinshighend.com for events and also for great used equipment that they list from time to time. In the past, there have been some great listening sessions arranged at Goodwin’s listening rooms for the sheer enjoyment of a community getting together to hear music played back on superb audio systems. For instance, Goodwins sponsored an evening to hear the latest release of Beatles recordings, all played back in their main listening room on a system composed largely from British components. The room was packed with Beatles fans and audiophiles, all grinning from ear to ear as Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da burst forth from the loudspeakers. Joy was everywhere to be heard and that’s the way it should be – brought to us by the dedicated and talented staff at Goodwins High End.